RMC Briefings

Our weekly online briefings offer a unique opportunity to get behind the headlines, with a panel of speakers quizzed by our journalists

Briefing: Drivers, doctors, friends … will AI replace them all?

A study of attitudes towards artificial intelligence has revealed that only one fifth of the British population is open to the idea of befriending a robot, with young people and the elite more positive about the possibilities. The study was conducted by Theos, a think tank on religion in society, and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. In this Religion Media Centre briefing, panelists discussed the different nature of a relationship with a robot and friendship with a person, and the difficulties of creating ethical boundaries in technology which is racing ahead. Hosted by Rosie Dawson, the speakers included:

  • Dr Beth Singler, junior research fellow in artificial intelligence at Homerton College, University of Cambridge
  • Neil Lawrence, DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning at the University of Cambridge
  • Dr Hannah Waite, researcher of science and religion at Theos Think Tank
  • Dame Professor Sue Black, anatomist and forensic anthropologist, and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University
  • Dr Nick Spencer, research fellow Theos Think Tank

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Briefing papers created by Theos are available, analysing the data from the initial research – download here >>

Report: Drivers, doctors, friends … will AI replace them all?

 “Younger people and the elite are more positive of it which means we are going to see a lot more of this. It’s going to happen because there are enormous commercial forces that want it to happen.”

– Dr Nick Spencer


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